Perfecting the Retail Craft Requires a Pure Omnichannel Mindset
By John Squire, Co-founder and CEO of DynamicAction
In my conversations with retail industry veterans, analysts and the up-and-coming new retail guard, the answer to the question, “Why did you join retail and what is it about the industry that keeps you motivated to innovate?” is always quite telling. While the answers may vary in length and description, a theme unanimously echoes throughout the conversations: great retailers are passionate about offering consumers products that not only appeal to their needs, but that also foster inspiration and affinity for the brand’s identity. It’s a simple premise but hard to execute everywhere a retailer needs to be today.
Historically, retailers who stand out as innovators are those who are aimed at perfecting their craft of designing engaging shopping experiences. They pay close attention to detail in order to catapult their business to the forefront of consumer’s minds when they set out on any shopping excursion.
Today, digital experiences constantly shift, warp and compress the time between every search, experience and memory of the retail experience. Standing out as a unique value provider in an increasingly crowded field takes clarity and steely resolve in a unified purpose.
By now, it should be blindingly obvious that retail is not what it was in decades past. The rapid evolution of multiple channels and the acceleration of the most agile pure play competitors have spawned endless options for the almighty consumer. As the underpinnings of retail shift at greater speeds, a gap is being forged between a retailers’ well-honed craft and the sanity of the overarching business requirement to generate increasing profits. Amplifying the complexity of the issue is the speed at which industry leaders transitioned from dipping a toe in the data pool, to diving in head-first to exploit the advances of data mining and deep analytics. Add to that, the current consumer-centric retail environment is accelerating the requirement for retailers to develop and deliver inspiring omnichannel brand experiences. Retailers and brands that will survive are those who can equip their organization with an effective and complete view of their entire profit creation chain — where every click connects with every brick.
That said, there’s a long way to go. According to recent research by WBR and eTail, 75% of retailers say they consider omnichannel essential to their business, but 49% say they are making “little progress” towards omnichannel success. Clearly, many retailers are struggling with the disconnects in their organization while simultaneously leaving consumers less than satisfied.
A pure omnichannel experience equates to having a seamless understanding of consumers — how they identify and interact with your product and brand — as well as a comprehensive view of inventory, and a complete picture of profit. Retailers must connect their data sets across all channels, consumers and product silos to properly leverage this knowledge at each store and at each digital interaction: again, where every click connects with every brick.
Achieving excellence in retail always has — and always will — require attention to detail. The confounding factor now lies within the much broader, deeper and richer array of information available to retailers. The virtually unlimited data exhaust left behind by shoppers across brick-and-mortar, online and mobile is undeniably overwhelming. But make no mistake, this wealth of data, when refined into pure intelligent insights, is exactly what the very best retailers and brands in the industry are doing to offer the shopping experience consumers are coming to desire.
For retailers, building and iterating on a robust omnichannel-enabled environment, the ultimate challenge will be to constantly keep their business operations running in the black in order to fund their well honed craft of amazing and delighting consumers at every brand interaction.
This month I will be joined by one of the thought leaders in building a pure omnichannel representation of an iconic brand. George Clark, Head of Digital at the British luxury brand Mulberry, and I will discuss omnichannel during Shoptalk.
If you are attending the conference, come see us on Tuesday, March 21, at 8:50 AM, Bluethorn 7- 9 room.
I am very excited to announce DynamicAction’s expansion of our applied analytics solution, which connects data from all across the organization and utilizes more than 600 proprietary algorithms to offer completely new visualizations of the omnichannel retail business, while prescribing profitable actions both online and in-store.
Additionally, our team will be at Shoptalk talking omnichannel success and how retailers can get to profits faster. Stop by our booth #1210 to learn more. We hope to see you there!
Read the 2017 Retail Executive Playbook now.